New communication profile for external displays and HUDs: EXD


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ANT+ has just received a new certification: EXD. This new protocol defines how communication between wearable fitness devices (wearables) and remote displays should be. In other words, it creates a communication standard between watches (or any other device that uses ANT+) with external displays, either Head-Up Display devices or "dumb displays", a mere screen that reflects the data recorded by another device.

This, which seems like a simple protocol update and which no one in the industry has given any importance to, is much more relevant than it seems. To begin with, because it will allow any device to be compatible with Garmin Varia Vision Not only with Garmin devices, but with any other brand that has a device with ANT+ connectivity and incorporates the EXD profile.

Garmin Varia Vision - Placement

In the same way that any manufacturer associated with the ANT+ Alliance has access to the other ANT+ profiles (heart rate, power, cadence, etc.), the new EXD profile will also be accessible from now on, as it is no longer a private ANT communication but something totally public.

Not only will the devices be able to communicate with Garmin Varia Vision, but any manufacturer will be able to develop its own Head-Up Display and make it retro-compatible with other units. Or instead of equipping a cycling computer (with its electronics, GPS, etc.), be able to have a screen that reflects the data from the watch we wear on our wrist, which for triathletes can be something that changes the game completely: make the three sectors of the competition with just one device, but in the second segment have a screen where you can see the power and time data at a glance and without changing the aerodynamic position.

Garmin Varia Vision

But we are not only talking about applications in the field of sport, there are many other sectors that will benefit, for example the automotive industry. This is not something new at all, as many high-end and not so high-end cars have been equipping it for a few years. But now a standardized communication profile is offered that will allow data such as speed or navigator indications to be reflected on the car glass, and will be compatible with both the manufacturer's own solutions and those of third parties; for example, using a mobile phone as a navigator and reflecting the data on the car glass, universally and at a very low cost.

According to the specifications provided by ANT+, this is what is included in the EXD profile:

  • Data transmissionHead-Up Display: Data from a main device (clock, cycling computer, etc.) transmitted to an external display (e.g. Head-Up Display), allowing the user to check performance metrics and navigation directions without having to take their eyes off the activity they are doing.
  • Custom configurationThe user can configure from the main device and precisely what data he wants to display on the extended screen.
  • Alerts and notificationsThe main device can send alerts and notifications to the extended screen, such as phone notifications, training alerts, navigation directions, etc.

This new EXD profile is currently available in the Garmin Edge 520 and Garmin Edge 1000. But from the moment it is no longer a proprietary technology (a private ANT channel such as HRM-Run sensor data) but a universal communication profile, the door is wide open to other manufacturers to incorporate compatibility with their devices, as well as other watches or computers from the brand to offer compatibility with the new accessory.

And you thought the Ironman thing was science fiction. Soon we can all have a JARVIS on our bike.


And with that... thanks for reading!

Eduardo Mateos

I've been surrounded by electronic devices of all kinds for more than 25 years. Using them, testing them, taking them apart and dissecting them. Long distance triathlete: I swim, run and cycle for a long time. Maybe too much.

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One Comment

  1. I have a garmin 810 in sight and I would like it to be compatible. let me know when it is possible thanks

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